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16th Georgia Infantry & Cobbs Legion

Item CON-5617
August 21, 1861 Emma Ronaldson Eldridge
Price: $225.00


Original 8 page Civil War letter written in period ink by Emma Ronaldson Eldridge, to her husband - Confederate surgeon Erwin J. Eldridge - Chief Surgeon in General Cobb's Legion.

Americus, Sumter County, Ga
August 21st 1861
Wednesday Evening

My Own Darling Treasure,

Another opportunity has offered for sending letters by private hand and I gladly take advantage of it, fearing many of my letters by mail have been lost. Yesterday I heard a piece of good news. Mrs. Bryan wrote me that you have been appointed Assistant Surgeon in Cobb’s Regiment. I can scarcely believe it until I hear it form your own dear self. I hope you will accept though. I fear that you are so much pleased with the Artillery company that you will think twice before leaving it. But I hope for the best and know whichever you decided upon will be best. I think everything you do is right and good. Inez has been obliged to return home. Is it so? Mr. Porter’s little girl died last Sunday and they expect the baby to die every hour. Ain’t it dreadful? She expecting every day to have another one. Fred West told Inez he expects to be in Virginia in the course of two or three weeks. I wonder if it is true. Dr. Calhoun has been very sick. He is better now. This is all the news Starkville can boast of. Ike Tyson told someone in Starkville (when his son was a day old) “that he had left Samuel Beauregard at home, laying out plans for the next battle.”

We had a letter from home last week. It came by private hand to Nashville. They are all well. Mary wrote that Arch expected to be at home in four or five months. I hope it is true on his wife’s account. I know now by experience what she has undergone during their separation, which has been nearly three years. Hennie says whenever she reads of the soldiers’ exploits she wants more than ever to be a soldier. I’d pity her sincerely if she was a northern one. Henry Sillman, a surgeon in a Pennsylvania Regiment from Pottsville, was attending a wounded soldier during the Battle at Manassas, had his head shot off by a cannon ball. Wasn’t it a horrible death? I heard of you acting “prisoner.” The people must have thought that you were too fat to run and was easily captured. I told you in my last letter that I was going to take part in the Tableau of Friday night coming. At first I thought I would. Afterwards, in thinking it over, I though perhaps while I was there, apparently enjoying myself, you might be sick or fighting or something the matter with you and I could not bear to think of such a thing. So I resigned. Sometimes I feel as if I never wanted to see anyone again until you come back. I only took part in them because the managers seemed so anxious that I should. Afterwards I found my place could easily be supplied, so I was thankful to withdraw. If you my dearest were only here, everything would be so different. These seven weeks have seemed almost like seven months. I miss you more than you can imagine, having no one to look up to, no one to go to or advise me in anything. Now that you are gone, I feel more lonely than you can tell. But I am doing wrong to write to my darling in this way. Perhaps he will think I give way to low spirits and despondency. But that is not so. Only now and then I get a little low and then it seems as though I hear your dear kind voice speaking to me through your letters and I strive hard to let “one smile begets another.” Mrs. Winn is happy tonight. Her husband came home today. How I wish it was my darling coming home. If only for a few days. But I know if the war lasts very long, you will come home for a little while anyhow, so I may see you sooner than I expect now.

The horses were up here on Sunday. Damon is getting so thin that I am really worried about him. While Pythias is as fat as he can be. I don’t know why it is. They are well fed as far as I know and I know he is not driven any more than the other horses. To tell the truth, they are all afraid of him. When I go down to Lee, I will have them under my own supervision. I would not for the world have anything to happen to them while you are away. I love them as dearly as though they were friends and any accident to them would cause me much sorrow.

Dr. Cooper spent the evening with us and much more pleasantly than I though. From the morning he spent here, he inquired very kindly for you and told me he was writing to Mr. Crawford and yourself. I hope you will get his letter. Mr. Jackson took supper with us on Sunday. He sent his kind regards to you both.

By Dr. Stewart I will send you some clothes, not winter one though; I am waiting to hear what you will need for winter before I send any. But I know some of your shirts must be worn out by this time and you will need warmer drawers. So I send some of each. Mr. Laramore was here this morning. He told me he was going to send Dr. Greene and yourself each three bottles of wine and the same of brandy. I think it is very kind of him to think of you both. They have been as kind as relatives to Mrs. Greene since she has been there. She will leave them though in a few weeks to go to her sister’s up the country. A few nights since a cat came here and had kittens right on one of my dresses. You may imagine what a condition it was in and how very angry I was. I always did hate cats. Now I despise them more than ever. We all get along very well. I don’t believe I should be much afraid to stay here all alone. Though I must confess it is more pleasant to have company and as far as sleeping is concerned, I greatly prefer having a bed to myself while you are away. Do you remember what you said in your last letter about selfishness? I have begun my contact with the world and I am sometimes astonished to see how very selfish persons are as regards to their own comfort and pleasure. I would be ashamed if it was me. To tell the truth, all my life until the past year, I have been obliged to give up in many things, opinions, as well as doings, so that if I am self-denying it, it from habit more than good feelings. I feel more though that I am fast getting over the habit. But I hope I shall never err on the one side. I wish my darling that I had something to write that would interest you. There is a perfect dearth of news at present and each day has the same monotonous round. But you live to hear from me and the time I spend reading your letters and writing to you is the happiest of my life now. I think you have the faculty of writing the sweetest things to me. Your love better than others. I have seen letters from husbands at the war. Were one of them to come from you to me, I should think you have grown cold and lost all interest in your wife. But the recipients are perfectly satisfied and of course think them the kindest things imaginable. I should feel very sorry if you did not tell me in each letter how much you love me. Although I know it so well. It sounds just so sweet to me as the first time you told me of it. I hope I shall get another letter from you this evening. It is a week since I have had one and that seems a long, long time. I hope soon to hear that you are preparing to go to Richmond. Camp meeting commences on Friday. I am going on Sunday if I can, as I have never attended and heard so much about them. I am very curious to go. I am truly glad to know that you are happy, cheerful and enjoying yourself and hope you continue so. It is so much the best plan to look on the bright side and to make the best of everything, no matter how sad it may seem. There is no cloud without its silver lining. The silver lining to mine is your return home, which I look forward to hopefully for I think and almost know you will return and that will be the happiest day of my life. I hope to be right fat by that time if I can. My face is always like a full moon anyhow and it hasn’t fallen off in the least. It is my other parts that show the “lean hine.”

You said in one letter that I seemed to have forgotten myself. You can’t say the same after reading this, for it is full of myself and little or nothing else. It is your own fault though for my darling, do you know you are making me very vain by praising me so much. When you write, I think I’m somebody now.

It is late and time that this letter should be off. So my own darling loved one, goodbye and God bless you a thousand times.

Mrs. Crawford, Mrs. Winn, Mrs. Robinson, Maxwell Hancock, Miss Becky, Inez, Mollie Lou and “All” send much love to you.

Once more, goodbye. Think often of me, love me and when you are think of your absent wife, always know that there is not one hour, scarcely a minute of the day, that her thoughts and prayers are not with you. Write soon and long letters. Always, my own darling, believe me,

Your affectionate and devoted wife,


My love to Dr. Greene and Mr. Crawford and “all” friends. Rena send love to Jim and Cely sends a “heap of howdy’s to you.”